There was just no way I was sitting in the house doing paperwork today, blue skies, no wind and sunshine meaning that the Vat return and my books were put on the back burner once more. To be honest I should be doing it right now instead of plonking away on here but I’ve just taken that box of wine that’s been sitting on the other backburner since Monday night so doing any kind of calculation is probably not a good idea 🙂
I arose a little later than usual because of my reluctance to set about the VAT return, once up however I soon realised that it was going to be a pure peach of a day and my VAT would just have to remain undone.
The first job as usual was feeding the pigs,
a task made difficult by Molly wanting to help and the Soay sheep wanting to steel the pig food, whilst the sheep love the food, they should not eat it as it has copper in it, something which pigs need but is bad for sheep. However I was leading them around with the bucket so that I could trap them to treat them for ticks which they have in abundance.
I soon had them following me and penned in a small secure area on the croft, when I say secure take note of the height of the pen, Soay sheep are not like your average ‘woolly’ and can easily jump your standard fence. They are also immune to dogs insomuch as they don’t herd like a normal lamb chop when confronted with a dog, instead they scatter. I have to laugh when people call them ‘low maintenance’, OK they may be immune to footrot, be very hardy, lamb easily and not require shearing but trying to catch them is something else. They are often referred to as a ‘primitive’ breed, well if being a non primitive sheep makes you follow the crowd, grow so much wool that someone has to cut it for you and die at the drop of a hat then I suppose they are ‘primitive’ but they’re certainly not daft! Once they’d settled down I gave them 5ml of ‘SpotOn’ down the back and that should sort out they’re ticks.
With the pigs all fed and the sheep treated I went in for breakfast then did a spot of path building,
shovelling out the beach stones that I’d collected yesterday and then tamping them down with a weight on a stick, this area between the gate and the ark was a swamp a few weeks ago that you could loose a wellie in. Now after some old curtains and several tons of stones you can drive the Land Rover on it.
By now the sun was higher in the sky and the day felt more like late June than the last day of September, so instead of using straw to change all the pigs bedding I cut fresh rushes for them. It lasts much longer than straw as a bedding and as you can see from the picture we have plenty of them. I was changing all their beds because the swineherd had juggled all the pigs around whilst I’d been at work.
Bracken had a sore leg which was not being helped by the low entrance to the shelter she was in with her 8 piglets. Notice I said 8 and not 9, for one had somehow got trapped under the shelter and died. In view of this wifey had moved her into the field on the left of the trailer and the deluxe insulated Bidgiemire http://www.pig-arcs.co.uk/index.php/site/news/ only trouble being that this meant we had to evict Bramble and Jamie Lee into the field on the right as a temporary measure before leading out the three Tamworths onto the hill then putting Bramble and JL in their field. Anyway all this moving of pigs meant lots of cleaning and fresh bedding, which in my eyes is far better than sitting on my ar5e in a warm kitchen surrounded by paperwork 🙂
Of course I was not the only one enjoying the sunshine, Ginger the Tamworth boar and Shona the Gloucester old spot sow were flaked out under the motionless Proven 2.5kw wind turbine.
Fitting an EGT gauge to a Land Rover
Now the vast majority of readers would be as well to skip this bit because unless you’re a sad individual like me it will be exceedingly boring. If on the other hand, like me you have been smitten with that irrational obsession that is a love for noisy, oily, smelly, leaky 4x4s that emanate from Solihull then read on and enjoy 🙂
The EGT or exhaust gas temperature gauge is a far more accurate indication of when something’s amiss with your precious engine than the ‘Mickey Mouse’ temp gauge that just guesstimates the coolant temperature. Using a ‘thermocouple’ it can ( if you get it close enough ) measure the temperature of the gasses leaving your combustion chamber and keeping an eye on this when your engine is working hard up a long hill is far more important than the regular temperature gauge as exhaust temperatures can rise quickly and do serious damage before the regular gauge has gone into the red.
This may not be a problem on your regular well made piece of kit that comes from Japan but on a ‘highly tuned’ Land Rover or old bucket like mine that tows an even older caravan it can be! The only problem with them is that A, they are usually very expensive and B, they can be tricky to fit as the thermocouple needs to be drilled and tapped into the exhaust manifold.
I overcame A by finding this http://shop.airworlduk.com/egt-gauge–round–single–2-300842-23-p.asp on the internet, with the thermocouple, delivery and VAT it was £66.
Now any sane person would have removed the exhaust manifold to fit it, after all it does require fitting before the turbo charger and any bits of swarf in there could do untold damage. However I had far too many other things to do and had been pondering this for a while. I came to the conclusion that if I drilled and tapped it whilst the engine was running then the positive pressure in the manifold would blow out the swarf.
So I picked a spot just below the turbo and started to drill with a 7mm drill ( the thermocouple is 8mm x 1mm thread ) once the hole was started I fired up the old girl and continued. It worked a treat and all the fillings got blown out by the exhaust gasses 🙂 Next came the tapping.
Which was again done, carefully, whilst the engine was running with the tap on a short 1/4” drive extension with the tap forced onto a 5.5mm socket.
Once the hole was tapped I wrapped a little PTFE tape around the thermocouple insert and wound it in. Here’s a picture of the gauge before I mounted it. That’s 470 degrees C pulling hard up a VERY steep hill in 2nd gear.
I’ve since mounted the gauge and I’m well ‘chuffed’ my only gripes being that A, it’s not backlit and B, the scale could do with starting at 2 or 300 degrees, still the sh1t don’t hit the fan until around 750 degrees and I don’t tow my caravan much in the dark so I can live with that 🙂